Scripture tells us that our ancestors in the faith used ashes to express their grief, as well as the sorrow they felt for their wrongdoings. By putting ashes on our forehead today, we can hear more clearly God’s open invitation: “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”
But these ashes also remind us of another truth: that “we are dust and to dust we shall return.” These words teach us that, like the incarnate Jesus, we are a part of creation – we are in an ongoing relationship with all members of this God-made family.
As we begin our Lenten journey this year, let us recall those times when we committed wrong against one of our sisters or brothers – whether that be a human being, other creatures, or the Earth itself. By using this calendar for the next six weeks, we invite you explore the ways we humans have harmed creation, particularly through an extractive model of development, and consider ways that we can begin to heal our relationships.
May the ashes we carry with us throughout this day call us to a change of heart: “Remember, we are dust and to dust we shall return. Repent, then, and believe in the Gospel.”
For your convenience, you may choose to download a print "Worship Aid." This aid is a compilation of the weekly scripture reflections found in the calendar. By providing these reflections in a booklet format, we hope to enrich your weekly worship experience. You can download the PDF here.
Please note that the downloadable PDF is formatted as a 8.5 x 11 inch booklet. So that the booklet prints properly, please be sure that the print job's orientation is set to "landscape" and that duplex printing is set to "Print on two sides (flip on short edge)."